In the last post, we asked ourselves, "How am I getting in my own way?" Ideally, you will have already completed that exercise by spending some time thinking about it and working through the guiding questions. I did it, and came up with several self-limiting beliefs, behaviours and habits that are not serving my intentions and goals.
It was worth it to me to spend some time getting curious about this question. And be wary of your inner critic! Mine was in overdrive when I started. It is a temptation to be overly critical and slam all your failings. But when I got quiet and curious, I came up with deeper, more meaningful answers. I would love to discuss with anyone who wants to have a conversation about this!
Today, we're going to switch gears to external obstacles. I suspect this exercise will be much more satisfying than the previous question. This week, we're asking, "How are other people getting in my way?"
Get a piece of paper, your journal or notebook. Write the question below (or whatever language works for you) as your title.
"How are other people getting in my way?"
Then make a line down the middle of the page. In one column complete Step 1 (below), and Step 2 (see below) goes in the other column. Step 3 is thinking and Step 4 can go on the bottom or back of the page.
1. Make a list of people who are making your life worse
Who is getting in your way? Use names to make it personal and specific and to avoid blaming the whole universe for your problems. We tend to generalize the "other" with statements like, "I'd be much more productive at work if they weren't always scheduling meetings" or "Management doesn't care about making things better here." This exercise gets you to name the individuals and really own what you are saying. You can always destroy this list when you have finished the exercise.
2. Write how they are making your life worse or holding you back
Be specific about what these people are doing to prevent you from being your best self or doing what you feel you are meant to do in this life. For example, "If Rebecca weren't always scheduling pointless meetings, I could get so much more done," or "When Michael doesn't listen to me, I share less of my ideas that would probably help the department improve" or "My husband never cooks dinner, which means I have to spend every evening in the kitchen."
3. How do I feel about this list?
Step back from the list and just pay attention to how you feel now having made this list. Where is your energy? What is your body telling you? Are your fists clenched? Is your jaw tight? Do you have a nervous stomach? Sit with the feelings, and try to just pay attention without judgement or without getting too much into your head. Focus on breathing deeply. Let the thoughts come and go, while noting any physical responses.
4. Write about it
Write a few sentences about the experience:
This is a process, so go easy on yourself and remember that if this is new for you, it's going to take time to get used to the practices. If there is resistance to Step 3 or 4, then it's even more important that we stop here. Give yourself a day or two and come back to this when you feel energy for it.
Bookmark this blog for more practices that are designed to help you look inward and begin the personal groundwork of stepping into your authentic leadership.
Please comment below or on FaceBook if you find any of these things helpful, and reach out if you would like support. You can contact me on the Reach Out tab or on FaceBook.